Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pokemon Black 2 Review - "A Deep Look At My Long Run"

Pokemon Black and White 2 is the sequel to Pokemon Black and White, a series which raised the bar for me in what the story in a Pokemon game could be.  This was a mistake after finishing the next game in this long running series.  With that opening out of the way lets review a game.

Graphics/Presentation:The newest entry in the pokemon series has decent graphics for the system.  Although a bit dated if it wasn't for the animated sprites during battle, and the 3D models used in the overworld.  The cities are nicely built and each has a unique flare to where I could tell where I was out without any problem.  The sprites for the NPCs are nice for a top down style RPG and so goes the character portraits in battle.  The graphics are nice, bright, and crisp; unlike DS games that try to have 3D models and look dark and muddy.  I was very impressed with some of the in-game cut-scenes during the more important story bits of the game, and blown away by the in-battle effects for the champion fight.  When you get to that fight it is just to pretty, and I was just excited to let the fight drag on for that one reason.

Gameplay: I can summarize very quickly, play any other Pokemon game to get a feel for this one.  Outside of user interface upgrades the gameplay is more or less the same as the previous version, which is fine from a sequel game like this.  A nice few gameplay addition was the World Championships and the Movie Studio.  The Movie Studio is the new replacement for the Pokemon Contest in past games, it's not bad I enjoyed how it's a mission based game rather then fashion and rhythm from the past games.  I still miss the original Pokemon Contests where it felt like battles in of themselves.  The World Championship is a tournament style battle where all the Gym Leaders from past games join in the fight.  This is very fun and exciting for a fan of the series to take part in, and I'm glad Nintendo took the time to put this in rather then the Battle Train.

The most badass Team leader in Pokemon ever
Story: I don't like the story, at all.  You can skip why if you want to I really don't care.  The story for Black/White 2 is a continuation of Black/White and went under any bar that was raised for me.  The story of Black/White 2 is you are a trainer in a city (for once) going off on a Pokemon journey, that tired old opening.  Not like the opening from Pokemon Coliseum, and it's kinda sad it's this plot device again.  Even Team Plasma who I think is the best Team in terms of evil in the series phones it in this game.  When they are around in this game it felt token, except for the couple of times when that ship was involved. The evil scientist looking guy is a joke, he pretty much is a observer who could be replaced with a generic scientist from a past Pokemon game.  N is barely in this game if at all (I hardly remember), and the reformed Plasma's don't do much at all but get blamed for past crimes.  A good plus is Ghetsis felt like a threat when he tries to knock out the player directly(The first time ANY LEADER TRIES THIS MIND YOU), and when his cane stopped the use of pokeballs (Felt like the scene in the Pokemon Adventure manga when Giovanni disabled Red's pokeballs).  With the way they were presented and treated it felt like they would have a more grand part in the story, but no I remember the Rival whining about his stolen pokemon more then Team PLAAAAASSSSMAAAAA.  All this considered I am a 23 year old playing a game geared at kids, and taking a step back and looking at it like that.  The story is pretty Ok for a kid not expecting much.

Conclusion: While the game in of itself is not bad and is perfectly fine, for me it represents that Pokemon for me is pretty much dead.  I've been playing since 1998 and now it just blurs together as one game looking back on it.  After playing for 14 years, I've found better games of this ilk to play that at least has a interesting story to it.  If you're not burned out on Pokemon yet I say give it a go, if you are burned out pass up on this latest journey to "catch them all".

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